Wednesday, 26 March 2014


The weather forecast promised well for the day, but low clouds still obscured the lower slopes of Ben Hiant at ten o'clock, and the sun was struggling to break through them.

The change came suddenly, so we walked into the hills at the end of Ormsaigbeg, going through the gate at the end of the croft land into the common grazings and climbing the slope in the area which the OS map calls Cuingleum.  It isn't clear whether this is the name of the slope, which is a steep scree slope with a path running diagonally up it, or the name of the place.  The postie always referred to the house here as 'Coilum' - which may be how Cuingleum is pronounced.

From the top there are magnificent views down across the Sound of Mull.  Bloody Bay is on the right, Rubha nan Gall lighthouse to the left, and Beinn Talaidh in the distance.  The ship passing through the Sound is the Dutch registered Nordic Diana, en route to Sodertalje - which Google says is on the Baltic coast of Sweden.

The purpose of the morning was to wander over the area at the top of the hill to carry out a fairly thorough search for any archaeology.  On William Roy's Military map, drawn between 1747 and 1752, he has the Ormsaigbeg clachan marked up here, but there is no sign of any houses, only these little rings of stones, which are probably the bases of shieling huts.  Roy's map is in the National Library of Scotland, here.

The archaeology is interesting, but on a day like this, and after a winter like that one, much of the time was spent basking in the warm sunshine and watching the slow movement of the clouds across Kilchoan Bay.


  1. The postie made a mistake, this house in the picture is tigh an craig & coilum is the adjacent croft with the ruined tigh.

  2. Is Tigh an Craig what would be called MacDiarmid`s?

  3. Many thanks for sorting me out on Tigh an Craig and Coilum - though it's less likely that the postie got it wrong than that I got it wrong! Do you know where the OS got Cuingleum from?

  4. Barbara MacLennan31 March 2014 at 13:11

    Ask Moira

  5. We always called the house Coilum.